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Vienna Beef Italian Beef Kit

I’ve written a ton about Chicago’s iconic specialty, the Italian Beef sandwich.  I’ve looked at different brands to prepare at home, as well as a number of restaurant offerings.  Check all those posts out here.  Today we tried Vienna Beef’s home version of the preparation, beef and gravy frozen in a tub.  Spoiler.  Any of […]

Chicago’s Iconic Sandwich – The Italian Beef

Like most locally-specific foods around the US, whether it’s the first coney island style hot dog, or the first pizzeria in America, the origins of Chicago’s iconic sandwich – the Italian Beef – are difficult to sort out.  One story has it that Italian immigrant workers in Chicago’s stockyards brought home tougher cuts of meat, […]

Italian Beef Sandwich – A Chicago Icon

If you’ve walked around Manhattan, you’ve surely seen a pizzeria with some variation of the word “Ray’s” on the sign. The first Ray’s Pizza opened in Greenwich Village in the 50s, the owner eventually opened a second location which he later sold. The new owner retained the name, and subsequent sales and openings have created […]

Mike Ditkas Italian Beef Review

Mike Ditka, ex professional football player, ex NFL coach, has been on a licensing spree lately; in addition to his restaurants, Ditka is now rivaling Donald Trump (including questionable hair) for an expanding product line:  wine, steaks, cigars, and now Chicago style foods. I don’t know shit about football; the closest I ever came to […]

Portland, OR – Michaels Italian Beef & Sausage

Man, I love Italian Beef.  Especially served as a combo, with Italian Sausage, Beef, and juice both.  They should fit into some category here.   Chicago’s Italian Beefs are the originals, but now you can find one close to home by checking out this directory. There’s a pretty fine one in Portland, Michael’s,   and when […]

Italian Village Review, Chicago, IL

I generally eschew “legends” in the restaurant business (exception, New Orleans), as I have found over and over again, so many of them are resting on their laurels of decades ago. Such is not the case with The Italian Village, really three restaurants under one roof in downtown Chicago, is the city’s oldest Italian restaurant, serving […]

Parkview Hot Italian Sausage Review (Aldi’s Brand)

Parkview is Aldi’s house brand for many of their meat products. Their ” Parkview Hot Italian Sausage,” is a smoked sausage, whereas most companies (and grocers) sell their Italian sausage as “fresh” (uncooked).  Smoked sausages like hot dogs, are fully cooked, so they only require a quick heat and eat, if that’s your preference.  This […]

Jewel Italian Sausage Review

Picked up a package of fresh hot  Italian sausage at my local Jewel-Osco; the chain is part of the Albertsons et al grocery empire owned by Cerberus Capital. The store brand sausage is packed for Jewel stores by a Chicago area meat company called Randolph Packing, which also sells products under their own brands.  (Factory picture […]

Portland, OR – Wagsys Hot Beef Sandwiches

( 5th and Oak St., downtown Portland, OR) I’ve been blessed to have lived in some of the great food cities of the world; and there’s always at least one local favorite I miss when I have moved away from those burgs – Italian beef from Chicago, po-boys from New Orleans to mention two. Heating […]

Dietz & Watson Roast Beef

I mostly prefer to make my own “lunch meats.”  By that, I’m generally referring to cooking a beef roast, ham, or corned beef round and putting it through the slicer. When confronted with the selections at a service deli counter, I’m apt to opt for imported products, and of course I like the variety of […]

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